If war broke out in Ukraine, Latvia and European partners would find solution to refugee issue - PM Karins

  • 2022-01-27
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - In case a war broke out in Ukraine, Latvia and its European partners would find a solution to the refugee issue, Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) said in an interview with Latvian Radio on Thursday. 

Asked about Latvia's ability to take in refugees fleeing potential warfare, Karins did not say if Latvia would admit any refugees and how many people it could take in. He voiced confidence, though, that Latvia's people would be very understanding on that matter. 

Commenting on Russia's potential aggression and the European Union (EU) and NATO's response to Russia's demands to the West, Karins said that Latvian officials have frequent conversations and contacts with partners in the EU and NATO. 

Karins said that although the West's written response to Russia, which was forwarded to the Kremlin on Wednesday, has not been made public in full, it is  clear that NATO will not accept a third country, which in this case is Russia, dictating who can and who cannot be the alliance's member and where and how the alliance can deploy its forces. 

Karins said that the initial response of NATO and the EU to Russia's demands involved dialogue methods and attempts to find common ground, but now it has become clear that dialogue is not enough in the current situation, so NATO has added some "spice" to the talks. 

"This, in my view, is the right way to talk with the Kremlin. One should not talk with the Kremlin from weak positions. The Kremlin and Putin understand force. Europe and NATO have force, they are incomparably stronger economically and also military," the prime minister said.

Karins also noted that he was glad that during this period of tensions, NATO and the EU have "pulled together" and have not started arguing.